“I’m so irritable right now, I feel like I’m on somebody else’s period.”
I love that quote. And I’m not going to lie, I can be a moody prick from time to time. I generally don’t show that side of my personality to very many people. I attempt to keep it away from my Bride and our kids just about always. They rarely hear me bitch anymore.
I learned that moodiness can negatively affect those around us. There was a time when I really didn’t care. Life wasn’t nearly as happy and fulfilling during those times. I didn’t care enough about the people I was around to check my attitude, at times.
That’s changed over the years I’ve been with my Bride. When we met, everything changed. We were each other’s closest friends right away. We wanted to spend time with each other constantly. We joked and laughed about everything. We had fun no matter what we were doing together.
If it wasn’t for all of that hot, sweaty sex, I would have figured we were just besties.
The long and short of it though regarding my negativity and attitude was that I wasn’t fully aware of how draining it could be to be around me when I was upset about trivial things that didn’t really matter very much. I acted like a spoiled child to some degree at times.
It got to the point where I could tell it bothered her. Even though I was only cursing under my breath and talking to myself angrily, it affected her. She feels things easily. Perhaps it’s the therapist thing. She’s done that for 23 years now. She definitely is an empath who can absorb negative juju easily.
When we first talked about it, I was defensive. She told me that while she understood that I was never directing anything toward her, it still hurt her to see me ranting and raving to myself, even if I was fairly quiet about it. The angry vibes still showed through. She hated seeing me being so mean to myself.
Once I quit taking what she said personally (I’m certain this was because she was right and I knew I was in the wrong), I was able to work on myself and attempt to be better about the negativity and anger. It was a welcome change from the years prior before I knew her.
As I focused on the issue at hand, I realized that I had a lot of pent-up anger at a number of people from my past. A few of them in particular. Because I didn’t visit a therapist and address those feelings when they started, they became worse over time.
I was determined not to ruin this wonderful new relationship because of the disappointment and turbulence of my past relationships. This obviously wasn’t fair to her. The last thing I wanted to purposely do was anything to hurt her or bring her down. I also didn’t want to raise our children in an angry home.
Being the amazing therapist she is, she had some helpful tips that used and found to be wonderful. I watched a video of the book, The Secret, which she had recommended. It was a game-changer. I started feeling better right away and felt that I’d taken a right turn onto the road to positivity.
I’ve had my moments over the years since then. I’m a human being. As often as we try to conduct ourselves in the best way possible, we’re still going to disappoint others and ourselves, here and there.
The difference was, it was easier for me to catch what I was doing, recognize what was happening, and correct my behavior. I’d stop, sit down, and breathe. Sort of a quick little mini-meditation session. She taught me that among a number of other things when attempting to calm myself down over an anxious situation.
I also improved due to our dog, Libby. Once she started coming to our home every other week, we became the best of pals. During those first couple of years, I could tell that she’d react in a concerned, anxious way if I started cursing under my breath at times I was angry or frustrated.
The first time she snuggled up close to me and rolled onto her back, wagging her little tail, it made me cry. It was horrible and made me feel like a shitty dog owner. I vowed to do better. Libby has certainly helped to keep me in check.
It’s very rare that I curse around Libby now. We sit in silence most of the working hours of the day when we’re home alone while I’m doing my writing. Once in a while, I’ll make a mistake and accidentally wipe out a paragraph I’ve just written. Old habits will surface, and I’ll let out a quiet, “Oh, fuck off…” toward my laptop.
Guess who snapped out of her nap and gave me this look?
Sorry, Mooch. I didn’t mean it. Daddy just lost a paragraph. But it will be ok. You’re more important than my little brief angry words.
It’s funny, I can say certain words with almost no anger, just annoyance. But if she hears, “Fuck”, “Shit”, “Bitch”, “Asshole”, or especially “motherfucker”, she knows something’s up.
But I’m getting better about it. I never want Libby, Mai, or my kids to ever be disappointed in me. I can’t remember the last time I came across as openly annoyed or irritated. So I think I’m onto something here.
I’m a work in progress. We all are. I know it’s unacceptable to treat myself poorly during moments of frustration. I don’t want my family to see me being rude toward myself. Nobody wants to hear you complain constantly. I’m glad I’ve gotten so much better about it.
Well, the Lakers are down by 15 to the Nuggets, with 3 1/2 minutes left in the game. So I’m going to turn it off and rewatch The Secret again. No anger. No insults toward myself. Just good vibes. &:^)